Stand out from the crowd with LinkedIn Learning Certificates 🏆

In today’s competitive job market, it’s important for university students to stand out. One way to do this is by earning certificates for completed courses on your Aberystwyth University LinkedIn Learning account and adding them to your personal LinkedIn profile.

But why does this matter? Adding certificates increases your chances of being found by recruiters looking for specific skills, showing them your commitment to ongoing learning and career development, making you a more appealing candidate.

Watch the video below to learn how to add LinkedIn Learning certificates to your personal LinkedIn profile

Learn more about LinkedIn Learning from this session at the Digital Skills Festival ’23 (Welsh session; English session)

If you have any questions about adding LinkedIn Learning certificates to your personal LinkedIn profile, please contact the Digital Skills Team (digi@aber.ac.uk) or view the official LinkedIn Learning Certificate FAQ page.

Rock your LinkedIn Profile 🤘🏻

Blogpost by Shân Saunders (Digital Capabilities and Skills Development Coordinator)

As the end of the academic year approaches, you may be starting to think about job prospects and future careers and where to start with this journey. LinkedIn now offer “Rock your Profile” webinars to help you learn how to build an interesting profile that is appealing to your ideal audience as well highlighting key features and best practices for building an engaging profile. These webinars are available at different times of day, register now at: Rock Your Profile (linkedin.com).  

Aberystwyth University Careers service also offer reviews and advice on improving CV’s and LinkedIn profiles. You can access these services through in person drop-ins at Level D Hugh Owen Library during term time, the Careers team are also available via email at: careers@aber.ac.uk. Alternatively, the Careers team also conduct sessions on successfully building a CV and a LinkedIn profile, these sessions are advertised on the career’s portal: www.aber.ac.uk/ABERcareers. We also had a session about how to use LinkedIn at our Digital Skills Festival which you can access here: How to use LinkedIn – Digital Skills Festival 2023 (6 – 10 November) (aber.ac.uk). You can view further resources on LinkedIn through the videos below: 

A Juggling Act: Navigating Studies and Job Applications ⚖

Blogpost by Joel Williams (Student Digital Champion)

Banner with Student Digital Champion

For many students, balancing studying for exams, completing coursework, and actively searching for employment opportunities can seem insurmountable. I have found it challenging to stay on top of my studies while trying to find relevant jobs and then completing page after page of applications. Enter platforms like Gradcracker and AberCareers. First introduced to me during the Digital Skills Festival, Gradcracker, like many similar sites, amalgamated many employment opportunities explicitly tailored to my skills. In this blog post, I hope to outline some of the approaches I used to help manage my studies whilst job hunting and signposting several resources available via the University.

Managing your time ⏰

One of the foremost challenges job-hunting students face is time management. With lectures, seminars, and assignments demanding their attention, carving out dedicated time for job applications can be challenging. Truthfully, I found the time required by each job application to be an excellent way to procrastinate on my dissertation, which helped me complete it quickly. However, as my third year continued and other assignments started to loom, I found the best way to stay on top of it all was to give myself an hour or two each week when I would only focus on job application. To meet my self-imposed time limit, I save the URL of any roles I’m interested in and if they are on Gradcracker, I make sure to shortlist them, making them easy to find and highlighting how long I have to apply for the role.

So Much Writing ✍

Another hurdle students encounter is the pressure to stand out in a highly competitive job market. Crafting a compelling CV, writing tailored cover letters, and preparing for interviews are all essential components of the job application process. However, balancing academic achievements and relevant work experience can take time and effort, especially for those juggling multiple commitments simultaneously. The most helpful resource I found when trying to update my CV was to use the daily drop-in sessions offered by the careers service. I found having another pair of eyes check over everything invaluable.

One of the sections of my CV I have always struggled to complete has always been the skills section. This is partially because it can be hard to know what is the most important to list and also because it can often be challenging to come up with a list of skills on the spot. To help complete these sections, I used a combination of module information and the Jisc Digital Discovery Tool, which I used to identify my digital proficiencies.

Example of a Jisc Digital Discovery Tool report

Polishing your Digital Presence 👣

One of the first steps I took early in the job application process was updating and polishing my LinkedIn profile. Spurred on by a session on How to use LinkedIn during the Digital Skills Festival, I revised much of my pre-existing profile and created something that I am now able to use for job applications.

Checking your digital footprint is an often overlooked element of applying for jobs in a digital age. My fellow Digital Champion Noel has written a handy blogpost exploring the steps you can take to protect your digital footprint and ensure that the public and employers can only see what you want them to. The Digital Skills Team have also curated a LinkedIn Learning collection on managing your digital identity.

Career Service 💬

If you’re looking for more specific advice, the careers service is the best people to speak to and details of how best to use this service, which is open to current students and post-graduates, can be found on their webpage.

Global Work from Home Day 🏡

Blogpost by Shân Saunders (Digital Capabilities and Skills Development Coordinator)

Working from home for most people has now become the new normal with home offices now a staple of most households. Being able to work from home is a positive in many ways but it can also allow us to be too consumed by our screens as well as having to adapt to new ways of working. As today is global work from home day, we want to share our tips and tricks for being more successful with working from home.  

  1. Step away from the desk! 

As with working in any office, having regular breaks and stepping away from your computer is essential. This could be taking a break to make a drink, taking the time to stretch or even doing some desk yoga! You can view the below LinkedIn Learning courses and videos for some tips on taking breaks and stretching courses. 

  1. Is your desk set up for success?

Digital ergonomics is important both to help your productivity with feeling comfortable and happy with your space but it’s necessary for maintaining your physical health too! You can improve your digital ergonomics through making sure your at home office space is set up correctly, be aware of eye strain and making the needed adjustments where you can. You can learn more about digital ergonomics through the resources below: 

  1. Establish a Routine

Working from home is a great benefit, but it can be very easy to be consumed by work and lose your day which is why it is so important to establish a routine. This can include maintaining a consistent lunch break, having specific focus times on certain days and if you have recurring tasks, completing these on the same days. View the below videos and courses for tips on establishing a routine. 

  1. Perfect Online Meetings

Meeting virtually is now a requirement for anyone working remotely and with this has come about a new form of etiquette. It’s important to maintain professionalism while working from your home office. This can be having a virtual background, ensuring you have a headset of some form, joining the meetings early and being aware of whether your microphone or camera is on. You can learn more about best practice for online meetings with the resources below. 

  1. Stay connected

Although there are so many advantages and benefits to working from home, it can be isolating and difficult to maintain communication with fellow peers and so it’s highly important to stay connected. The best way to do this is to utilise online communication tools. This can be using Microsoft Teams or collaborative documents like Word online or SharePoint. You can learn more about the different types of method to stay connected below. 

In just a minute: Set a screen time limit! ⏳

Blogpost by Shân Saunders (Digital Capabilities and Skills Development Coordinator)

Whether you’re trying to work and keep getting distracted or sat on your phone before bed and can’t seem to put it down, using the screen time function available on iPhones may be beneficial to you. Accessed through settings and then screen time, there are multiple features to help manage your usage of apps as well as limit communications.  

  1. Downtime 

When activated, if your phone is in downtime this means that only apps that you have chosen to allow and phone calls will be available. You can turn on downtime at any time or you can schedule it to automatically occur on certain days at certain times.  

  1. App Limits 

You can limit usage of not only specific apps but app categories. For example, you can enable that all social apps – including Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat etc – have a specific limit of usage on specific days. This is a customisable feature, and you can remove some apps from the category if you don’t want a limit on that specific app, such as if you want to limit social media apps but not WhatsApp.   

  1. Always Allowed 

Through this feature you can customise which apps are always allowed usage even if your phone is in downtime. This includes having the ability to personalise which contacts can communicate with you through phone, facetime and messages.  

  1. Screen Distance 

A feature that you can choose to enable, screen distance helps measure the distance your phone is away from your face and will send you an alert if your phone is too close. This is to help reduce eye strain.

If you’re looking for more tips and tricks in reducing your digital usage, view our student digital champions digital detox results! Please note, these instructions are for Apple only and unfortunately, this function is not available for Android users. If you are an Android user, view our Student Digital Champion’s recommendation of ScreenZen.  

Prioritise your digital wellbeing on University Mental Health Day

Blogpost by Sioned Llywelyn (Digital Skills Lead)

In today’s age, most of us rely heavily on technology. While the digital world offers endless possibilities and conveniences, it’s crucial to remain mindful of its potential impacts on our digital wellbeing. As today is University Mental Health Day, it’s a perfect day to share with you a selection of tips and resources to help you achieve a healthier relationship with technology.

We’d love to hear from you! What strategies or resources do you find most helpful in maintaining a healthy relationship with technology?

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Is there life after social media? – My digital detox month 📵

Blogpost by Noel Czempik (Student Digital Champion)

Have you ever felt like your phone was controlling you more than you were controlling it? That was me, until I hit a breaking point last year. Frustrated by the failed attempts to reduce my screen time and the feeling of being stuck in a digital world, I embarked on a digital detox journey throughout December – you can read about it here.

In this blog post, I’ll share my experience, the highs and lows, and the lessons I learned from reclaiming control over my digital habits.

👍 Positive changes from my detox

  1. Less, not more, loneliness. I never realised how much social media drained my social battery. After some time without it, I found it easier to go out and interact with people, and I certainly didn’t miss the FOMO.
  2. Better emotional awareness. I thought using my phone helped regulate my emotions, but it was just a distraction. After an unpleasant adjustment, I could recognise and process my feelings more healthily.
  3. A new morning routine. I thought I didn’t have one, but my morning routine was using my phone. Once I stopped, I found it easier to do other things, like journaling with a cup of tea.
  4. Effortless productivity & creativity. I could get a lot done in those little moments when I would normally pick up my phone. I also had the headspace to come up with my own solutions rather than seeking them online.
  5. Better rest. The quality of my sleep improved, and I found little breaks throughout the day more restful.
  6. Living in the moment. I found it easier to enjoy the everyday moments, and the time seemingly slowed down.

👎 Some of the downsides and challenges I experienced

  1. My digital habits migrated to other apps. For a while, I found it difficult not to replace social media with YouTube or even scrolling through my photos or messages. I found the ScreenZen app to be very helpful – read my review of the app here.
  2. The adjustment period. For some time, I felt irritable and bored and craved using my phone all the time. I needed to re-learn how to spend my time and be patient.
  3. The inconvenience. I was surprised how much I needed to use my phone to check the time, set the alarm or timer, use two-factor authentication, or pay for things.
  4. Missing out. Many events, such as local gigs or club and society events, are only advertised online. I found out about many opportunities after they happened, and even when searching proactively, most search results took me to social media sites, which often required logging in to access the full content.

My advice for those interested in doing a digital detox

  1. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Even if you need to use devices for work/study or if you slip up in your commitments, not all is lost – you can still majorly benefit from the experience.
  2. Tweak as you go. You may need to adjust your expectations if things don’t exactly go as planned, this isn’t a failure. Celebrate small successes and find what feels good to help you build sustainable habits.
  3. It’s not all bliss, but not all boredom, either. There will be moments when you’ll want to quit and moments when you won’t regret a thing. Your experience and everything you learn about yourself will be unique, perhaps the most valuable thing.

Take control of your phone with ScreenZen (before it controls you!) 📴

Blogpost by Noel Czempik (Student Digital Champion)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Main positives: Free. Customisable settings for different apps. Motivating.

Main negatives: Take a bit of time to set up for each app.

Nowadays, smartphone users often find themselves in a losing battle when it comes to staying focused. Access to distracting apps has become so easy and habit-forming that we get lost in the digital world before we get a chance to make a deliberate choice. This is one of the reasons I decided to try a digital detox in December, and that was when ScreenZen came to the rescue!

What is ScreenZen?

ScreenZen is a configurable app that empowers users to set boundaries with their devices. Unlike traditional app blockers that restrict access entirely, ScreenZen introduces a novel approach by increasing the barrier to entry. By providing users with time and mental space to make conscious decisions about their digital consumption, ScreenZen naturally fosters mindfulness in the interaction with technology and, therefore, better digital wellbeing.

The app is entirely free and available for both Apple and Android users.

What are ScreenZen’s main features?

What sets ScreenZen apart is its remarkable customisability, and its main features are:

  1. Allowing you to choose a specific wait time before you open each app.
  2. Interrupting you whilst using selected apps after a set time (you can set different times for your various apps).
  3. Cutting you off when you’ve reached your daily time limit or pick-up limit (i.e. how many times you open an app each day) and even preventing you from changing the settings to get around it.
  4. Displaying a motivating message or remining you of more valuable activities to you.
  5. Introducing more mindfulness into your digital habits by prompting you to do breathing activities whilst waiting for the app to unlock, which also encourages you to reevaluate your need to use the app you’re trying to open.
  6. For the goal motivated, accessing streaks and other stats to track your progress and encourage you to stay on track, but only for the apps you choose, so you can still read ebooks or use your favourite meditation app without worrying about losing your streak!

My final thoughts on ScreenZen

Will I continue to use ScreenZen? Absolutely!

My favourite thing about this app is that it makes it easier to align my digital choices with my values and routines and can be useful to anyone. Whether you prefer strict limits or simply looking to cultivate awareness of your digital habits, ScreenZen accommodates these diverse preferences. The customisability features mean it takes a while to set up, but once set up, I found this app to be a valuable addition to supporting my digital wellbeing.

Your Digital Identity Checklist: 5 Do’s and Don’ts 💼

Blogpost by Noel Czempik (Student Digital Champion)

Banner with Student Digital Champion

Taking charge of your digital identity is now more crucial than ever. Safeguard your privacy, strengthen your security, and unlock potential professional opportunities with the short guide below.

1. Review Your Privacy Settings

Take advantage of tools that allow you to display your content as it’s visible to your audience, customise privacy settings for individual posts or modify what information can be used to search your profile. You can read this article for more information on the privacy settings available on the most popular social media sites.

2. Share Thoughtfully

Don’t solely rely on privacy settings. Think before posting, considering the potential impact on your reputation and safety. Be cautious of content that could be misinterpreted or taken out of context, and don’t share sensitive personal information unnecessarily.

3. Monitor Your Digital Footprint

Regularly search your name online to assess available information. Consider setting up alerts for new mentions or content associated with your name.

4. Curate Your Content

Align shared content with your desired digital image. Remove or update outdated or irrelevant information.

5. Build a Professional Online Presence

Showcase skills and achievements on professional platforms, maintaining a professional tone and image in your communication. For example, you can add certificate of completions for LinkedIn Learning courses on your personal LinkedIn account. For multi-purpose platforms, consider creating separate profiles for personal and professional use. If you are interested in building a LinkedIn profile, a recording of the Careers Services’ LinkedIn session is available here.

For further information about managing your digital identity, you can watch the Careers Services’ session on this topic from the Digital Skills Festival.

Begin a new chapter – Apps to help your reading habits 📖

Blogpost by Shân Saunders (Digital Capabilities and Skills Development Coordinator)

With the advancement of phones and technology there’s now an app for everything – including reading! As an avid reader I like to challenge myself with yearly goals, discuss books with fellow readers and gain reading stats. With my top three reading apps – all of these are possible! 

  1. Goodreads  

Goodreads is great for tracking your current reads and staying on track for your reading goals.  

  • Set yourself a yearly reading challenge and Goodreads will tell you whether you’re on track. 
  • Track your current reads to see how far through you are.
  • Receive a badge if you reach your goal. 
  • View books you’ve read in previous years. 
  • Create reading shelves for your needs like “want to read”. 
  • Scan book covers instead of searching for them. 
  • Discover new books based on your recent reads, new releases and trending books.  

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